LAVACA (KFSM)-On March 25, 2013, Sam Boyce went to see her doctor for a routine check-up. She was in the third-trimester of her pregnancy at the time. What she didn’t know, was that her blood pressure was high. The doctor checked on Bella, and all was fine, but moments later, the baby’s heart stopped beating. She gave birth to Bella the next day, stillborn.
“It was just sudden and drastic and you know, there’s not really an explanation as to why,” Boyce said. “It’s a really tender subject, it’s a very sensitive subject, so a lot of people don’t talk about it, and a lot of people don’t want to talk about it, you know me personally, it is hard, but I’ve gotten better,” she said.
Boyce isn’t alone. In fact, national statistics show one in every 160 pregnancies results in a stillbirth. Now, Boyce says it’s her mission to raise awareness and get the community involved.
“Whether it be something that occurred early in your pregnancy, a miscarriage, a stillbirth, your infant passing away from SIDS, there’s just not a lot out there,” she said, “but I want people to know there is ways to raise awareness for the cause.”
She’s also working to raise money for the Mercy Foundation in Fort Smith by selling T-Shirts and wristbands at Steffey’s Pizza in Lavaca where she works. T-Shirts start at $10, and wristbands are $5.
“Women come in and they buy a shirt, and if I can catch them, I speak to them about it and tell them my situation, and then they’re more inclined to talk about their story, and so there is help, and there are other women who have experienced this, so you just have to stay strong and keep going each day,” Boyce said.
That money then goes back to parents who have had to cope with the sudden loss of their baby.
“They have a specialized fund set up and it’s called ‘Helping Hands for Children’ they make memory boxes for parents who have had children pass away like what we had with Bella,” she said.
Mercy also makes care packages for newborns in intensive care. The fundraiser at Steffey’s goes until the end of the month.
Oct. 15 is a nationally recognized Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. For more information or support resources, click here.